Right Reverend Philip Anderson, o.s.b.
Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey
Speaking On: Bond of Common Worship
Abbot Philip Anderson (born in 1953) is the Superior of the Benedictine monastery, Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, located in Hulbert, Oklahoma, in the foothills of the Ozarks. He grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, and attended the University of Kansas, where he was part of an experimental course of studies for undergraduates called the Pearson Integrated Humanities Program (1971-1973). In association with this particular university program, there was a wave of conversions to the Catholic Church. He was one of these converts, as was Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska. Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, although a “cradle Catholic” and not a convert, was part of the program as well.
After serving a two-year enlistment in the United States Marines Corps (1973-1975), he joined some other graduates of the Pearson Program at the University of Kansas, who had entered a contemplative Benedictine monastery in France, Notre Dame de Fontgombault Abbey. After completing his formation and being ordained to the priesthood in 1984, Father Anderson was sent with others to start a new monastery in southern France, Notre Dame de Triors. He served there as Prior, Novice-Master, and Lecturer of Moral Theology—not to mention working in the chicken-coop and the vegetable garden.
In 1999, Father Anderson was sent back to America along with twelve other monks, including eight Americans, to found Clear Creek Monastery in the diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has since developed into a thriving community of fifty monks. A number of families have moved in around the abbey, forming the beginnings of a Catholic village. The monastery was raised to the status of abbey in 2010, when Father Anderson was blessed as first abbot of Our Lady of Clear Creek.